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Zion's Christian SoldiersThe state of Israel is not prophecy fulfilled

This is a shorter version of Stephen Sizer's earlier book, reviewed below, and is aimed at a more popular readership. It is Zion's Christian Soldiers? The Bible, Israel and the Church by S. Sizer (IVP, 2007, ISBN 978-1-84474-214-1). It concludes with an essay by John Stott: The Place of Israel.

Sizer includes some useful diagrams and debunks both the unscriptural idea of a 'secret rapture' and the currently popular notion that the State of Israel is a fulfilment of prophecy. His biblical reasoning is, to my mind, utterly compelling—but that's no surprise since I ditched my dispensational, premillennial views on Israel and the church around the age of 20.  Read my article on changing views.

The fundamental error these ultra-literalists make is that they fail to recognise how Jesus and the apostles reinterpreted the OT. Instead, texts are made to speak about present and future events almost as if the NT had never been written. (p36)

When Jesus died he broke down the wall of separation between Jew and Gentile… It is tragic that some appear to want to rebuild it. (p55)

In the NT, the land, like an old wineskin, had served its purpose. It was, and remains, irrelevant to God's ongoing redemptive purposes for the world. (p96)

Nothing in 1 Thessalonians, or in any other NT passage, teaches that Jesus will return secretly to take believers to heaven for seven years and then return with them to earth for another thousand years. (p135)

In its worst forms, Christian Zionism uses the Bible to justify racial superiority, land expropriation, home demolitions, population transfer, colonial settlements, the denial of international law and the dehumanisation of Arabs. It fuels not only Islamophobia but also anti-Semitism and Islamist retaliation against Christians. (p162)

Who, according to the NT perspective, is Israel today?... It is that true Israel is neither Jews nor Israelis, but believers in the Messiah. (p167 - John Stott)

[See also the review of Colin Chapman’s book on this subject]

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